WTZ-85 – Harman Kardon Head Unit FMVSS 111 Noncompliance Recall – 2018 Subaru Legacy, Outback, & BRZ

NHTSA Campaign Number: 18V935
Manufacturer Subaru of America, Inc.
Components VISIBILITY
Potential Number of Units Affected 71,190

 

Camera Image may not Display/FMVSS 111

Failure to display the rearview image while backing up increases the risk of crash.

 

Summary

Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling certain 2018 Legacy, Outback, and BRZ vehicles. In the affected vehicles, a software issue may cause the audio display system to not initialize, resulting in the camera display remaining blank. If this occurs, the rearview image will not display while backing up the vehicle. As a result, the vehicles fail to comply with requirements of Federal Motor Vehicle Safety (FMVSS) number 111, “Rearview Mirrors.”

 

Remedy

Subaru has notified owners, and dealers will reprogram the audio system display software, free of charge. The recall began on February 5, 2019. Owners may contact Subaru customer service at 1-844-373-6614. Subaru’s number for this recall is WTZ-85.

 

Notes

Owners may also contact the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), or go to www.safercar.gov.

 

Check if your Subaru has a Recall


NUMBER: WTZ-85R
DATE: 01/03/19
NHTSA ID: 18V-935
REVISED: 02/15/19

APPLICABILITY: 2018 Model Year Legacy, Outback,  and BRZ Vehicles
SUBJECT: Harman Kardon Head Unit FMVSS 111 Noncompliance Recall

 

INTRODUCTION:

Subaru of America, Inc. (Subaru) is recalling 2018 model year Legacy, Outback, and BRZ vehicles equipped with a certain combination of head unit hardware and software, due to the possibility of noncompliance with Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard (FMVSS) 111 – “Rear Visibility.”

 

AFFECTED VEHICLES:

Vehicles included in this recall are equipped with a high-grade Harman Kardon head unit with navigation, and software version 3. This includes vehicles equipped as such in production, and those that show a warranty history of receiving a software update after the release of version 3.

Model Year Carline Affected Units
2018 Legacy Refer to Vehicle Coverage

Inquiry for WTZ-85 Recall Applicability

2018 Outback
2018 BRZ

Coverage for all affected vehicles must be confirmed by using the Vehicle Coverage Inquiry function on subarunet.com. This information is now available.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE ISSUE AND SAFETY RISK:

Due to a software issue, the head unit memory retrieval and assembly time may exceed the designed time to begin the boot-up cycle.  If this occurs, the head unit display will not boot, causing the screen to remain blank.  In this condition, while backing the vehicle, the rearview image may not be displayed.

The failure to display the rearview image creates a noncompliance with the requirements of FMVSS 111 – “Rear Visibility,” increasing the risk of a crash.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE REMEDY:

Subaru Retailers will reprogram the head unit software on affected vehicles at no charge to the customer.

 

RETAILER RESPONSIBILITY:

Retailers are to promptly perform the applicable service procedures to correct all affected vehicles in their inventory. Additionally, whenever a vehicle subject to this recall is taken into inventory or in for service, necessary steps should be taken to ensure the recall correction has been made before selling or releasing the vehicle.

Any vehicles listed in a recall/campaign that are in the Retailer’s stock must be:

  • Immediately identified.
  • Tagged or otherwise marked to prevent their delivery or use prior to inspection and/or repair.
  • Repaired in accordance with the repair procedures outlined in this Product Campaign Bulletin.

Please be advised that it is a violation of Federal law for a dealer to deliver a new motor vehicle covered by a recall under a sale or lease until the defect is remedied. Therefore, any Authorized Subaru Retailer failing to perform the applicable service procedures to correct all affected vehicles in their inventory prior to the vehicle being placed in service may be subject to civil penalties of up to $6,000 per violation (i.e., for each vehicle), as provided in 49 CFR §578.6 and will also be in breach of the Subaru Dealer Agreement.

 

OWNER NOTIFICATION:

Subaru will notify affected vehicle owners by first class mail, using internal Subaru owner records, this month. Subaru is in the process of acquiring registration data and will notify owners again using that data within the next 60 days. Retailers will be advised when owner renotification begins.

 

RETAILER AFFECTED VIN LISTS:

Each Subaru Retailer will receive an affected VIN list from their Zone Office. For the first notification, Retailer assignment will be based on the selling retailer. For the second notification, vehicles will be assigned to Retailers as follows:

  • Original vehicle owners are assigned to the original selling Retailer when their current address is within a 100-mile radius of that Retailer.
  • If the original selling Retailer is inactive, the VIN has been assigned to the nearest active Retailer.
  • For any new owners or when original owners live more than 100 miles from the original selling Retailer, the VIN has been assigned to the nearest active Retailer.

IMPORTANT: Retailer affected VIN lists include information for vehicles affected by this recall. This information will enable Retailers to follow up with owners of affected vehicles. The lists contain owners’ names and phone numbers obtained from State Motor Vehicle Registration Records. The use of such motor vehicle registration data for any other purpose is unlawful. Accordingly, Retailers are required to limit the use of these lists for the sole purpose of completing this recall.

 

SERVICE PROCEDURE:

If the vehicle presents with a black or blank screen which prevents completing the reprogramming procedure, Head Unit replacement will be required.  Secure an exchange Head Unit following the normal Harman Exchange Program procedure through United RadioNOTE:  Although all Harman exchange units shipped after 1/4/2019 have the latest software version already installed, the Version Check procedure must still be performed after the exchange unit is installed.  In order to close the recall/ campaign, the customer must have a fully functional head unit which is running on the latest software.

 

Affected Vehicles / Audio Units:

Model Year Carline Audio Unit Part Number
2018 Legacy 86474AL65A
2018 Outback 86474AL66A
2018 BRZ 86271CA670

The following information addresses reprogramming file availability and a software update installation procedure to provide optimization to Harman Gen 3 Audio / Navigation head units utilized in the models as listed above.  The procedure will involve either downloading the software update files from Subarunet (or using those sent directly from Nuspire) and transferring them onto a flash drive for head unit installation.  It is VERY IMPORTANT to read and understand this information completely before proceeding.

This procedure and the related reprogramming files apply to the following audio / navigation head unit:

Map Button in Top Row Center

Multimedia System Type Descriptive Features
8.0 Inch Audio /  Navigation System Map Button in Top Row Center

 

 

MATERIALS REQUIRED:

Two (2) 16GB (MINIMUM) USB 2.0 or 3.0 flash drives which are readily available at most office supply retailers will be needed to perform these updates.

Recommended Flash Drives:

  • Kingston®: Data Traveler G3, G4, SE9 or the Hyper-X Series

Kingston®: Data Traveler G3, G4, SE9 or the Hyper-X Series

  • SanDisk®: Cruzer Series, Ultra Flair

SanDisk Cruzer BladeSanDisk Cruzer CZ36SanDisk Cruzer GlideSanDisk Ultra Flair

Transcend 64GB JetFlash 790 USB 3.0 Flash Drive (TS64GJF790K)Transcend JetFlash 600 32 GBTranscend JetFlash 300 32 GB USB 2.0 Flash Drive

Verbatim®: Store ‘n’ Go

 

NOTES:

  • The USB flash drives can be USB 2.0 or 3.0.
  • The USB flash drive MUST be reformatted to NTFS before loading any files to it. NTFS is not the standard format on most USB flash drives.
  • The update files are not overly large but, during the reprogramming procedure, the head unit backs up some files to the USB drive. For this reason, sufficient USB drive memory size is required, especially for the High / Navigation units.
  • The flash drives should be dedicated to storing these reprogramming files only. Do NOT use any flash drives which contains or requires the use of file management, encryption, file backup or other software to function properly.

NOTE:

  • This new update also includes an enhancement to the map data for Subaru Retailer locations.

 

Step 1-  Verify the currently installed Software Version ID using the following steps:

  • After starting the engine, from the HOME screen, touch “Settings”.

Settings

  • From the Settings > General screen, scroll down to and then touch “System Information”.

System Information

  • Confirm the current Software Version ID. If the Current Version is 18.43.20, STOP as this latest update has already been installed.  Otherwise, proceed to Step 2 below.

Software Version ID(EXAMPLE photo)

 

Step 2-  Prepare the USB:

CAUTION:  Do not use any USB flash drive which utilizes file organizing software or an operating system.

  • Make sure the USB flash drive contains no other files.
  • Right click on the corresponding “Removable Disk”.
  • Select “Format”.
  • From the File System drop-down menu, select “NTFS”
  • Check the “Quick Format” box (if not already done).
  • Click on “Start” to format the USB flash drive.

Prepare the USB

The new reprogramming files are available for download from Subarunet using the normal audio / navigation system file update download procedure:  Go to Subarunet, select Service Operations and Technical>>Forms/Downloads>>Downloads for Audio/Navi then click on the applicable Hyperlink to download the file(s) to your system:

“HIGH-17-18 Impreza-18 Crosstrek-18-Legacy-Outback-18-BRZ-HARMAN AUDIO UPDATENOVEMBER 2018”

Click Here to Access the Downloads for Audio/Navigation Information on Subarunet

IMPORTANT: 

  • If the files are being downloaded from Subarunet, they will be .zip files and must be unzipped before they can be used. An EXAMPLE image of the Subarunet links page is provided below.

EXAMPLE image of the Subarunet links page

  • If the files were sent directly from Nuspire, they are ready to use and do not need to be unzipped before they can be used.

 

Step 3-  Load the downloaded update file onto the USB flash drive:

IMPORTANT NOTES:

  • NEVER change the update file names after downloading them.
  • NEVER save any other files on the same flash drive.

There are various types of USB flash drive available from many suppliers.  If the head unit does not recognize the USB flash drive during the reprogramming process, re-format the flash drive in FAT32 using above process instead of NTFS as previously specified.  If the USB flash drive is still not recognized, use a USB flash drive from different supplier.

  • Insert a USB flash drive (16 GB MINIMUM) to be used for (in this example) updating the BASE head unit into the PC.
  • Once the USB flash drive is located and ready for use, proceed to next step.
  • From the SDS GUI (Desktop) click / open My Documents.
  • Navigate to the USB flash drive (Removable Disk) and double click on it to access the drive.
  • Right Click on the drive and select Format.
  • Change the File System to NTFS.
  • Check the box for Quick Format and then press Start. This will erase any existing files.
  • When the warning dialog box opens, click “OK”.
  • Once formatting is complete, click “OK” then click “Close” to exit the format dialog box.

Follow “A” when using files downloaded from Subarunet.

Follow “B” when using the files sent directly to the SDS notebook from Nuspire.

“A” When using update files downloaded from Subarunet:

  • Go to Downloads.
  • Once the files have been downloaded from Subarunet, click on the Downloads folder and then sort by Date Modified to bring the most recent files to the top of the list.
  • Open / display the contents of File folder “_Harman Audio-Navi Update Files”.
  • Click on “Extract All Files”.
  • From the dialog box, browse to My Documents then click on “Extract”.
  • Open / display the contents of the 6 related Update File folders.
  • Double-click on the required file (for this example, select the file entitled “HIGH-1718 Impreza-18 Crosstrek-18-Legacy-Outback-18-BRZ-HARMAN AUDIO UPDATENOVEMBER 2018”).
  • Copy ONLY the “Update” folder then paste (or click / drag) it to the “clean” USB flash drive as listed (Removable Disk) in the directory.

“B” When using update files sent directly from Nuspire:

  • Go to My Documents on the GUI screen to display the list of available update files shown below.
  • Sort by Date Modified to bring the most recent files to the top of the list. The folder is named: _Harman Audio-Navi Update Files.  It contains the six folders shown in the EXAMPLE photos below.

six folders

  • Double-click on the required file (for this example, select the file entitled “HIGH-1718 Impreza-18 Crosstrek-18-Legacy-Outback-18-BRZ-HARMAN AUDIO UPDATENOVEMBER 2018”) and the Update file will display as shown.

Double-click on the required file

  • Click on the Update file and either copy / paste or click / drag it to the USB flash drive.
  • Once the folder named “Update” is loaded onto the USB flash drive, right click on the drive and select “Eject”.
  • Remove the USB flash drive after the prompt appears that says “Safe to Remove Hardware”.
  • Mark the USB “WTZ-85” to indicate the head unit it will update (HIGH in this example).

 

Step 4-  IMPORTANT:  Install the update folder for the head unit being reprogrammed ONLY.  Do not install all three update folders onto the same flash drive at the same time.

NOTE:  Do not copy the entire File folder.

Do not copy the entire File folder

Copy ONLY the File folder named “Update” to the USB flash drive.

Copy ONLY the File folder named “Update”

  • After the download is complete, NEVER change the folder names.
  • To avoid confusion, label the flash drive with the file contents (e.g. WTZ-85 / HIGH).
  • Confirm there is a folder named “update” on the flash drive.
  • After confirmation, move to the car and either start the engine or follow the procedure as outlined in document GR8-1100 on STIS for use of the GR8’s Power Supply Mode.

CAUTION:  Confirm one final time the head unit you are about to update matches with the USB flash drive you have selected.  Attempting to install the incorrect update file will disable the head unit.

 

Step 5-  Update Installation:

IMPORTANT:  Always record the customer’s radio station presets, volume and Driver Profile settings before proceeding further. The customer’s radio station presets and volume settings will likely need to be reset once the update and re-boot procedures are completed.

Always record the customer’s radio station presets, volume and Driver Profile settings

  • With the engine idling (or GR8 connected), plug the flash drive into the USB Port.

USB Port

  • After the unit “authenticates” the USB flash drive, press “Next” and after the second screen is displayed, press “Next” again.

press “Next”

  • The current and available software version information will be displayed. The Available Version I.D should be 18.43.20.

Version I.D should be Rel_UO.18.43.20

  • After confirming the Available Version, press “Install Now” to start the reprogramming process.

NOTES: 

  • The screen will go blank (black) for a brief period after installation begins.
  • If a “Do you want to retry” is displayed, press Retry to restart the update.
  • The update should take less than 20 minutes to complete.

IMPORTANT CAUTION:  To avoid possible head unit damage, always confirm the update file on the USB flash drive being used matches the head unit being updated (e.g. a BASE update file is being installed into a BASE head unit).  The files are NOT interchangeable between the 3 different audio unit types.

  • Do not touch any of the buttons on the head unit while the updating process is taking place.
  • If during the updating an error screen is displayed asking “Do you want to Retry”, press “Retry” to restart the update.
  • Once the updating process is complete, the head unit will reboot automatically.
  • After the reboot completes, press the HOME Home Button button to return to the Home screen.

 

Step 6-  Turn the ignition OFF, open and close the driver’s door then remove the flash drive from the USB port.  If an error screen is displayed asking “Do you want to Retry”, press “Cancel”.

IMPORTANT:  Wait AT LEAST 3 MINUTES before proceeding to Step 7.

 

Step 7-  Verify the newly-installed Software Version ID using the following steps:

  • Turn the ignition back ON. The STARLINK screen should be displayed.  If the STARLINK screen is not displayed, perform Step 5 again and be sure to WAIT AT LEAST 3 MINUTES before proceeding.
  • In some cases, the radio presets may not appear initially.
  • From the HOME screen, touch “Settings”.

touch “Settings”

  • From the Settings > General screen, scroll down to and then touch “System Information”.

touch “System Information”

  • Confirm Software Version is now “Rel_UO.18.43.20”.

Confirm Software Version is now “Rel_UO.18.43.20”

  • Press Home Button (Home) to return to the Home screen and shut the engine OFF.  Open and close the driver’s door.

 

Step 8-  CRITICAL: Operation Check and Full Re-Boot Procedure:

1) Turn the ignition back ON (ACC) and confirm normal system operation.

2) Confirm the Home screen is displayed.

IMPORTANT:  If during this procedure, the screen goes blank (black) and the STARLINK screen does not appear, the head unit must be replaced.  THIS SHOULD BE A VERY RARE OCCURRENCE.  Contact SOA Techline should this condition occur.

3) Turn the ignition OFF, open and close the driver’s door then WAIT AT LEAST 3 MINUTES to confirm the unit “times out” or “goes to sleep”.

4) Perform 1), 2) and 3) above again (a total of 2) cycles. If normal operation is confirmed, press  to return to the Home Home Button screen and shut the ignition OFF to complete the procedure.

 

Step 9-  If lost during the update process, reset the customer’s radio station presets, volume and Driver Profile settings and if necessary, reset the clock to complete the procedure.

 

CLAIM REIMBURSEMENT AND ENTRY PROCEDURES:

Credit to perform this recall will be based on properly completed repair order information.  Retailers may submit claims through Subarunet.com.

Labor Description Labor
Operation
#
Labor
Time
Recall/
Campaign
Code
Claim
Type
HARMAN AUDIO / NAVI UNIT REPROGRAMMING (INCLUDES VERSION

ID CHECK AND OPERATIONAL CHECKS)

A128-828 0.4 WTZ-85 RC
VERSION ID CHECK ONLY A128-820 0.2
Use the following coding ONLY WHEN REPLACING the Head Unit:
HARMAN HEAD UNIT R&R & VERSION ID CHECK* A128-830 0.6 WTZ-85 RC
HARMAN HEAD UNIT R&R & REPROGRAMMING** A128-838 0.7

*Use this coding when an exchange Head Unit is required because of inability to reprogram due to blank or black screen.

**Use this coding when the exchange unit received does not have the latest software version already installed.

REMINDER:  The software Version ID MUST always be confirmed as being the latest available following installation of a replacement Head Unit.

IMPORTANT:  CRITICAL Claim Process Update:  When completing the WTZ-85 campaign, the post-update software version number MUST be entered in the Miscellaneous Detail field when submitting the claim.  

IMPORTANT REMINDERS:

  • SOA strongly discourages the printing and/or local storage of service information as previously released information and electronic publications may be updated at any time.
  • Always check for any open recalls or campaigns anytime a vehicle is in for servicing.
  • Always refer to STIS for the latest service information before performing any repairs.

IMPORTANT SAFETY RECALL
This notice applies to the VIN below

 

Subaru Recall WTZ-85  January 2019

 

Dear Subaru Owner:

This notice is sent to you in accordance with the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act.

SUBARU OF AMERICA, INC. has decided that certain 2018 model year Legacy, Outback, and BRZ vehicles equipped with a certain combination of Harman Kardon audio system display hardware and software may fail to conform to Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standard No. 111, “Rear Visibility.”

You received this notice because our records indicate that you currently own one of these vehicles.

 

REASON FOR THIS RECALL

Due to a software related issue, the audio system display memory retrieval and assembly time may exceed the designed time to begin the boot-up cycle.  If this occurs, the audio system display will not boot, causing the screen to remain blank.  In this condition, while backing the vehicle, the rearview image may not be displayed.

The failure to display the rearview image creates a noncompliance with the requirements of FMVSS 111 – “Rear Visibility,” increasing the risk of a crash.

 

WHAT SUBARU WILL DO

Subaru will reprogram the Harman Kardon audio system display software with an updated version in your vehicle at no charge to you.

 

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

You should contact your Subaru retailer (dealer) for an appointment to have the audio system display software updated in your vehicle, free of charge.

Until this repair is performed, please use caution when driving in reverse if the rearview image is not displayed. You should always check the rear view and the surrounding area by turning your head rearward and/or using the mirrors and move backward at a slow speed. 

 

CHANGED YOUR ADDRESS OR SOLD YOUR SUBARU?

If you have moved or sold your vehicle, please complete the enclosed prepaid postcard and mail it to us.  Or if you prefer to update this information online, please go to www.subaru.com, select ‘Customer Support,’ then select ‘Address Update’ or ‘Ownership Update’ from the drop-down menu.

 

HOW LONG WILL THE REPAIR TAKE?

The time to perform this software update is approximately 30 minutes. However, it may be necessary to leave your vehicle for a longer period of time on the day of your scheduled appointment to allow your Subaru retailer flexibility in scheduling.

 

IF YOU HAVE PREVIOUSLY PAID FOR A REPAIR

If you have already paid for repairs associated with this condition, you may be eligible for reimbursement. Reimbursement consideration will be based on the amount an authorized Subaru retailer in your area would charge for the same repair.

Please send the original service repair order, which has the name of the repair facility, date of repair, mileage at the time of repair, complete 17-digit vehicle identification number (VIN), and your name, with correct mailing address and telephone number to the address listed below.

Subaru of America, Inc.
Customer-Retailer Services Department, Attention: WTZ-85 Recall
P.O. Box 9103, Camden, NJ 08101-9877

Please send original receipts only and retain a photocopy for your records.  Please be assured that we will attempt to process your reimbursement request as quickly as possible, but it may take up to 60 days for this process to be completed.

 

IF YOU NEED FURTHER ASSISTANCE:

To locate the nearest Subaru retailer, you can access our website at www.subaru.com and select ‘Find a Retailer.’

For additional information, please go to: http://www.wtz85.service-campaign.com.

If you need additional assistance, please contact us directly:

  • By telephone: 1-844-373-6614

Monday through Friday between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. ET

 

  • By U.S. Postal mail: Write us at Subaru of America, Inc.

Attn: Customer-Retailer Services Department

P.O. Box 9103, Camden, NJ 08101-9877

 

To subscribe to the NHTSA Recall Notification email System, please go to: https://wwwodi.nhtsa.dot.gov/nhtsa/subscriptions.

 

Please contact us immediately if the Subaru retailer fails or is unable to make the necessary repairs free of charge.

 

You may also contact the Administrator, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 1200 New Jersey Ave., SE, Washington, DC 20590 or call the toll-free Vehicle Safety Hotline at 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800424-9153) or go to http://www.safercar.gov if you believe the Subaru retailer has failed or is unable to remedy your vehicle without charge within a reasonable amount of time.

 

Your continued satisfaction with your Subaru is important to us.  Please understand that we have taken this action in the interest of your safety and your vehicle’s proper operation.  We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this matter may cause and urge you to schedule an appointment as soon as possible.

 

Sincerely,

Subaru of America, Inc.

 

A subsidiary of SUBARU CORPORATION

 

Notice to Lessors

Under Federal law the lessor of a vehicle who receives this letter must provide a copy of it to the vehicle lessee(s) within 10 business days from receipt. The lessor must also keep a record of the lessee(s) to whom this letter is sent, the date sent, and the applicable vehicle identification number (VIN). (For the purposes of this section, a lessor means a person or entity that in the last twelve months prior to the date of this notification has been the owner, as referenced on the vehicle’s title, of any five or more leased vehicles. A leased vehicle is a vehicle leased to another person for a term of at least four months.)


NUMBER: WTZ-85R
DATE: 01/03/19
NHTSA ID: 18V-935
REVISED: 02/15/19

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2018/RCRIT-18V935-9940.pdf

Download (PDF, 1.4MB)


Owner Notification Letter

Subaru Recall WTZ-85
January 2019

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2018/RCONL-18V935-6827.pdf

Download (PDF, 196KB)


Email to owners

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2018/RMISC-18V935-1076.pdf

Download (PDF, 160KB)


Subarunet Announcement

January 24, 2019

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2018/RCMN-18V935-5578.pdf

Download (PDF, 101KB)


Subarunet Announcement

January 3, 2019

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2018/RCMN-18V935-8037.pdf

Download (PDF, 557KB)


Subaru Chronology (WTZ-85)

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2018/RMISC-18V935-0432.pdf

Download (PDF, 334KB)


Recall Acknowledgement

February 22, 2019

https://static.nhtsa.gov/odi/rcl/2018/RCAK-18V935-1929.pdf

Download (PDF, 240KB)


Recalls Documents

https://www-odi.nhtsa.dot.gov/acms/cs/documentList.xhtml?docId=18V935&docType=RCL


 

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